The 2022 legislative session is underway, and all committees and floor action have live streaming and are recorded for later viewing on YouTube. Agendas and streaming links are available on all committee pages at https://legislature.vermont.gov/
Please reach out to me or Rep. Dolan with questions, concerns, and ideas. Contact information: Rep. Lori Houghton (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Rep. Karen Dolan (email@example.com).
ESSEX JUNCTION INDEPENDENCE UPDATE
Rep. Dolan and I provided testimony on H.491 an act relating to the creation of the City of Essex Junction this week. You can watch the proceedings here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cK2vzRdokaQ
The Chairs of the Trustees and Selectboard will testify next (date not yet determined but potentially this coming week!).
DO YOU BUY HEALTH INSURANCE DIRECTLY FROM BCBS OR MVP?
Although open enrollment is closed, Vermonters could be saving $1,000s on premiums still this year. If you buy a qualified health plan from BCBS or MVP, you may be eligible for tax credits. Vermonters in single plans may now qualify for tax credits with incomes up to $105,771 in 2022. Vermonters in family plans may qualify with incomes up to $297,216 in 2022. Although you will need to move to Vermont Health Exchange to qualify for these tax credits, you will keep your same health plan and still pay your premium directly to BCBS or MVP. I encourage anyone buying direct to visit the site below to determine what you could be saving. Click on the shopping cart icon “plan comparison tool” to determine what you may qualify for. Or call 1-855-899-9600
FY2022 Budget Adjustment
Friday the House unanimously approved H.679, the annual Budget Adjustment Act. In addition to balancing our state budget midway through the fiscal year, the BAA provides an opportunity to address our state’s urgent needs, including ongoing pandemic response. Highlights of this year’s BAA include significant one-time investments in workforce retention, housing, childcare, and providing services to Vermonters who have been, and continue to be, deeply impacted by COVID-19. More details can be found here:
FY2023 Budget Public Hearings
The Vermont House and Senate Committees on Appropriations will hold two Public/Advocate Hearings on the Governor’s Recommended FY 2023 State Budget on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 at 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and Wednesday, February 9, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. via videoconferencing technology (Zoom). All are welcome to testify. The Governor’s proposal and the press release on how to attend or submit testimony can be found below:
INVESTING IN VERMONT’S FUTURE
Below is the link to the final report of the “Investing in Vermont’s Future” community conversation. House Speaker Jill Krowinski and Senate President Pro Tem Becca Balient engaged over 1400 Vermonters through virtual conversation and online questionnaire. The goal was to ensure that Legislative work is informed by Vermonters voices and day-to-day experiences.